The Roots of Kakigori: The Himuro Shrine

The Himuro Shrine was located in the sanctuary of the Kasugataisha Shrine together with the Hiike (ice pound) and Himuro (ice house) in the Nara period (710-794 AD).

Ice from the frozen Hiike during the cold season was stored in the ice house. The ceremony called Himuro Biraki (Himuro opening) was held annually on the Spring Equinox Day in March. Ice in the ice house had been offered to the Heijyokyo (imperial court) until September.

The Himuro Shrine was established to enshrine the guardian deity of the Heijyokyo Higashiyama and the guardian deity of the Hiike and the Himuro at the Kasugano area.

The festival called Himuro Shirayuki Maturi (ice house and white snow festival) has been held at the compound of the Himuro Shrine since 2014. New-style Kakigori (shaved ice desert) using local ingredients are attracting people.

Comments from Mr. Okada, the committee chairman of the Himuro Shirayuki Maturi
Although Kakigori became popular nationwide, the god of ice is enshrined only in Nara. I hope that not only Japanese but also overseas visitors come to the festival to eat delicious Kakigori.

Kakigori Ice

It usually takes 48 hours for making ice. A slow freeze for 72 hours increases the transparency of ice. Shaving ice at a lower temperature than usual makes ice delicate and fluffy texture.

Restaurants serving Kakigori
  • Houseki Bako (Treasure Box)
    Tel: +81-742-93-4260
    Address: Inside Mochiido Cube, 12 Mochiidonocho, Nara City, Nara, 630-8222 Japan
  • Ochanoko
    Tel: +81-742-24-2580
    Address: Inside Kotomall, 35-2 Konishicho, Nara City, Nara, 630-8226 Japan